20 years old, need serious advice

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Benjimin20

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I’m a 20 year old male who needs some real practical advice.

I’ve spent about 3-4 years in almost total isolation. I have no friends and very little family. I’ve never attended a birthday party, or went out drinking with anyone. (I don’t drink btw).

Recently my parents are beginning to realise something isn’t right. I have no interest in having a relationship with anyone. I have suspected for sometime that I’m Asexual.

I don’t care how I dress or what people think, which has got me into hassle previously.

So I’m paranoid. I don’t trust anyone about anything, I always think 5 steps ahead and plan for the worse.

I learned this from when I used to be attacked and bullied everyday at school, so I isolated myself from everyone and everything.

I think of people as friend or foe, and most people fall into foe. I think that’s because of what I had to deal with, friends turning and bullying me also.

I was recently diagnosed with Major depression and prescribed medication.

I bought a car but I have no interest in life. It’s almost like I’m frozen and locked out of society, like I’m destined to have the bad end of the stick.

Everyone else have so much yet don’t realise it, I haven’t had a friend in 2 years. (Which I knew less than 6 months).

The loneliness is hard, but I’ve accepted that people are rotten and that it’s for the best.

I work 12 hour nights and I try to only work 3 shifts because the money means absolutely nothing to be me. You can only enjoy money when you have someone to spend it with.

Basically I need help.
 
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Confusedandanxious

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Hey.

First off I'd like to ask how you feel about your current situation? Do you want to socialise more, do you want to function differently?

Secondly, what you can do to help yourself is seek out therapy. You can do the likes of graded exposure to help push you out there if needed.
What helped me socialise and get a bit more used to it was by doing some free courses. It was once a week for a number of weeks with the same small group of people and I was learning at the same time.

I realised though after doing all of that, that I was content with who and how I was. It was pressure of feeling the need to fit into society that made me put myself through the stress of trying to change into something I'm not.

If you have only recently been given medication then it can take 4-6 weeks to get into your system. Hopefully you will start to feel a lift in your mood soon.
 
Cpt_Stunning

Cpt_Stunning

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You're still young yet, I'm 44, I wasn't the way you write that you are now when I was 20, I couldn't possibly have been happier, but my outlook on life took a drastic downturn in my mid 20's, & the only way I get through life now is to have something to look forward to ie. to get away from it all, used my money to get away to somewhere, I went to France Lyon to watch the women's World Cup final, going back to France in September, thing is it is a great experience to experience something new & different.
 
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Benjimin20

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Hey.

First off I'd like to ask how you feel about your current situation? Do you want to socialise more, do you want to function differently?

Secondly, what you can do to help yourself is seek out therapy. You can do the likes of graded exposure to help push you out there if needed.
What helped me socialise and get a bit more used to it was by doing some free courses. It was once a week for a number of weeks with the same small group of people and I was learning at the same time.

I realised though after doing all of that, that I was content with who and how I was. It was pressure of feeling the need to fit into society that made me put myself through the stress of trying to change into something I'm not.

If you have only recently been given medication then it can take 4-6 weeks to get into your system. Hopefully you will start to feel a lift in your mood soon.
Hi. I’ve been on Zoloft for 3 months. I’ve tried to make friends and interact but it’s paranoia that gets to me. More often than not I walk away because I begin to think that they are against me.
 
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Benjimin20

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You're still young yet, I'm 44, I wasn't the way you write that you are now when I was 20, I couldn't possibly have been happier, but my outlook on life took a drastic downturn in my mid 20's, & the only way I get through life now is to have something to look forward to ie. to get away from it all, used my money to get away to somewhere, I went to France Lyon to watch the women's World Cup final, going back to France in September, thing is it is a great experience to experience something new & different.
I honestly don’t care if I die. I’ve seen enough of people to know that it’s better to be feared than loved. I can’t imagine going through this for another 24 years.
 
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Confusedandanxious

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That is the same issue I have with people.
That is what is good about those courses. When the course is over, so are the people if you want them to be.
 
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dewey

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So I’m paranoid. I don’t trust anyone about anything, I always think 5 steps ahead and plan for the worse.
You have had some difficult experiences there, in terms of bullying and being attacked. It is in fact, only rational, that you would fear people, under these circumstances. You are on guard, in "flight" mode out, in the "fight or flight" mechanism that we have built into us as animals. Being bullied and attacked during the vulnerable years of adolescence, or even being an outsider at school, can be truly difficult. These are very bad formative experiences, and I'm sorry you had to go through that.
However, you are not at school anymore. The feelings you have remain with you, sure, but they can be worked through. I had similar school experiences and also with the isolation thing, and know of many others who have had difficult formative years, but have managed to work on themselves and with time reach the point where they are fully socially ready.
It is not an overnight transformation, it takes work, and it involves blips along the way, but believe me, if you are determined to change you can.


I think of people as friend or foe, and most people fall into foe. I think that’s because of what I had to deal with, friends turning and bullying me also.
I work 12 hour nights and I try to only work 3 shifts because the money means absolutely nothing to be me. You can only enjoy money when you have someone to spend it with.
Basically I need help.
It really sounds like you do want to change. Which is extremely positive.
There are contradictions in what you say - that you fear people, you feel that people are mainly bad. You rightly recognise that you experience people as 'friend' or 'foe' - in psychology this is known as splitting. It is a very common trap that people with mental health problems fall into, because it is a defence mechanism. Understanding people as 'friend' or 'foe', all good or all bad, is much easier for the mind to do than really looking at what a person might be like, examining them in all their complexities. Trust me, human beings are in many ways, very complicated animals, understanding them and their motivations can be tricky. It sounds like you are more on the introvert side and want to understand what the hell is going on.
The good news is you can learn how to understand people better, how to relate to them, through self-learning and through good, skills-based therapy and through practice.
In terms of what has been motivating your peers at school, a lot of it will be down to the fact they are little ass-hole kids, have probably been subjected to aggression in some form, and decided to take it out on you to make themselves feel more powerful. There is also an element of them wanting to be accepted, in order to feel accepted by others, they felt the need to victimize you- hence your friends turning on you. Human beings can be pathetic in this regard.

Going into the world as an adult, such bullying behaviour is less socially accepted. People are generally okay, and there are a lot of kind, well-meaning people out there. I find it really useful to try and understand people's motivations when I get angry with the way i am treated. Sometimes I can't find any explanation at all, which is baffling, but there usually is one motivation.
However, it is true that there are some people out there who will want to purposely do wrong, even in the adult world. The trick is learning to identify these people and understanding you deserve better. You can learn these skills through talking with a good therapist. I would recommend CAT therapy for someone in your position. Look it up on google and try to find someone knowledgeable. You may need to get your doctor to refer you, if your parents aren't willing to pay for a therapist.
Explain to your doctor that you would like to be referred for skills based therapy.

If you are determined to improve, you certainly can. Everything comes in small steps. Transformation does not come overnight but be aware you are extremely young and there is a lot of opportunity to grow and understand more and become more confident. Compare yourself only to yourself and the progress you make.
 
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dewey

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You're still young yet, I'm 44, I wasn't the way you write that you are now when I was 20, I couldn't possibly have been happier, but my outlook on life took a drastic downturn in my mid 20's, & the only way I get through life now is to have something to look forward to ie. to get away from it all, used my money to get away to somewhere, I went to France Lyon to watch the women's World Cup final, going back to France in September, thing is it is a great experience to experience something new & different.
Exactly. People experience things at different ages, for some they start out rough, for others they run into trouble later on. What matters is your determination to understand and grow.
 
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dewey

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Hi. I’ve been on Zoloft for 3 months. I’ve tried to make friends and interact but it’s paranoia that gets to me. More often than not I walk away because I begin to think that they are against me.
I think this means you should slowly ease yourself in. It is very intimidating to suddenly throw oneself to the wolves so to speak.

And in your current state you are likely to choose bad acquainatnaces. That's why I recommend seeing a therapist as your springboard for further interactions. If you can build a good therapeutic relationship that will in turn help you in how you relate to others. You have a lot to work to do but it is impossible. Also in turn the therapist can help you, give you advice, in how you choose who to interact with and give you advice on how to deal with people in a positive way, should you start to feel threatened by them.
 
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Benjimin20

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Per
That is the same issue I have with people.
That is what is good about those courses. When the course is over, so are the people if you want them to be.
I appreciate the time you have took to write this.
 
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dewey

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I like the advice someone here gave a while a go that you should write down what you fear happening before an interaction. Then afterwards see how much of those things you feared happening, actually happened in the interaction.
 
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Benjimin20

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I think this means you should slowly ease yourself in. It is very intimidating to suddenly throw oneself to the wolves so to speak.

And in your current state you are likely to choose bad acquainatnaces. That's why I recommend seeing a therapist as your springboard for further interactions. If you can build a good therapeutic relationship that will in turn help you in how you relate to others. You have a lot to work to do but it is impossible. Also in turn the therapist can help you, give you advice, in how you choose who to interact with and give you advice on how to deal with people in a positive way, should you start to feel threatened by them.
Yeah I’ve associated with the wrong types before, at least you could predict their motives
 
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dewey

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Yeah I’ve associated with the wrong types before, at least you could predict their motives
Generally if you feel shit, you tend to attract people who do similar, and will behave in shit ways. But you can break the cycle through self-education and awareness. It's all about understanding what kind of treatment you deserve, and sticking to your guns. It's hard, but it comes very gradually.
 
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Benjimin20

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I do
I like the advice someone here gave a while a go that you should write down what you fear happening before an interaction. Then afterwards see how much of those things you feared happening, actually happened in the interaction.
I don’t thin
Generally if you feel shit, you tend to attract people who do similar, and will behave in shit ways. But you can break the cycle through self-education and awareness. It's all about understanding what kind of treatment you deserve, and sticking to your guns. It's hard, but it comes very gradually.
I understand. I’m not pretending to be innocent. It’s kill or be killed and I’m not a saint. I don’t know I question who I really am, after a while being alone it’s like you are the center of the universe
 
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dewey

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I do


I don’t thin


I understand. I’m not pretending to be innocent. It’s kill or be killed and I’m not a saint. I don’t know I question who I really am, after a while being alone it’s like you are the center of the universe
It sounds like you need to accept your past, both what you have done, and what others have done to you, and move forward. Lunus recommended me radical acceptance today:
Radical Acceptance
Three Blocks to Radical Acceptance

To be honest, questioning who you are is a fairly normal, human concern, the good news is you have plenty of time to figure that one out. Often it will feel like you are no one, and you don't know who you are, but in a way that's true. The idea of 'who you are' is a difficult one. But if you want to change, and examine your life, that's a good start for building an idea of who you are.

Again I will reinforce a lot of what you voice are concerns many young people go through. You might feel like the only one, but trust me, there are millions out there who have had similar experiences to you. It's a question of learning to put the past behind you and focus on become a better version of yourself.
 
ScaredCat

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Knowing you need help is a first step. Has your GP referred you for any more help?
 
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Zoe1

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my family taught me that its a ' dog eat dog world '
and that people just use each other !
' its a tough little world out there ' they said

its really difficult to learn to love myself
and to not compete with people

:welcome:
 
Someoldguy

Someoldguy

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Good grief. Mostly the advice I get from reading this thread is : 'Life sucks! Get a helmet!'

That is absurd.

Human beings seek meaning in our lives. We are stimulus-response creatures. There must be something that provides you with some positive feelings. Whatever that is, that's where you need to concentrate your attention.
 
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